When I was in my early 20s, my girlfriends and I got drunk one night after I had a particularly nasty break-up. With our long suffering designated driver, we spent hours driving past my former boyfriend's house and wondering if another woman had already taken my place. I sobbed and laughed in the back seat until, weary of the game, we finally went home. Life isn't so simple now.
Now, one of the many questions that niggle a woman's mind after a break-up is how to delete her ex. I'm not talking about knocking him off. After all, I'm sure, for the most part, he's a great guy and you hope he meets someone not nearly as awesome as you and spends the rest of his life wondering what might have been. But in the age of social media, breakups aren't just messy but have the potential to turn you into a stalker. Here are a few tips for a clean social media break up.
1. Delete (or hide) his profile. Before you decide whether to delete your ex-boyfriend or simply hide his profile, you have to decide how much willpower you have. For some of my single girlfriends, knowing all they have to do is type a name into a search engine to see pictures of his latest dates or selfies of his newly grown facial hair is just too much temptation. For others, it's an empowering moment to know they have the will not to look. If you fall into the first category, walk straight to delete, block, and erase. Do not pass go.
2. Don't let mutual friends get you down. In real life, any awkward moments of your friends spending time with your ex is muted by space and a lack of knowledge. On social media, however, you can see your friends interact with your ex. Take a deep breath and try not to get upset. Your friends are in a tough spot — a spot you've been in a time or two — and while you'd think they'd have had the sensitivity not to upload a picture of their game night with your ex to Instagram, that's not always the case.
3. Ignore passive-aggressive new lovers. While you may have moved on and are interested in what your ex is up to in a purely unemotional way, his current lover may not feel the same way and might start posting passive aggressive messages to you. Remember, while you may be mature enough to move forward, that doesn't mean everyone is.
4. Take a break from it all. It may seem like an extreme act, but sometimes the best way to heal is to just step away from the noise. Social media, for all its ability to connect, can prevent us from serious soul-searching. The amount of time we spend mindlessly taking Buzzfeed quizzes could be better directed towards healing.